Free alternative to Age of Empires: a must for fans of strategy


Of course the Egyptians in 0 AD should not be missing. (Image: Wildfire Games)

For over 20 years, a group of AoE fans have been working on 0 AD and successfully capture the spirit of the popular real-time strategy series. Since September there is a new free alpha to test and if you like Age of Empires 1 and 2 you should definitely check out 0 AD.

0 AD – The free alternative to Age of Empires

The fan project 0AD sits somewhere between part 1 and part 2 of Age of Empires when it comes to Gampelay, as far as factions go, most are from ancient times, at least for now. Of course you start with a main building and some workers, collect the four raw materials food, wood, stone and metal and build new buildings. Your people may not age, but like AoE, you’ll need to advance to new phases of your settlement to unlock more units, buildings, and technologies. There is now 14 peoples each with unique troops and their own architecture.

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Own game mechanics

However, 0 AD also has some notable differences from AoE. Almost everyone can do this Battle units also collect resources and build buildings at the same time. Historically, that’s not so far-fetched, as there weren’t as many professional soldiers in ancient and medieval times as movies and video games would have us believe, and even the Roman legions were anything but “lazy.”

Another difference is: territorial boundaries on the map. Many buildings can only be built within your own boundaries, but they can be expanded. You take neutral territory by building a new city center. If you occupy enemy territory, loyalty gradually shifts to you and you can take over enemy buildings.

What exactly is 0 AD and how do you play it?

As mentioned before, 0 AD is a free fan project that even follows an open source model. Everyone is therefore free to contribute to the development of the game. You can download the game from the official website. Since September 24, 2022, there is the 26th Alpha, which, among other things, introduces the Han Dynasty as a new people.

A brief overview of the Alpha 26:

If you’re looking for a change from Age of Empires, you certainly won’t go wrong with this fan project and it’s worth checking out the progress of development on a regular basis.

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